Sifu Jan Gerdewitz
Sifu Jan Gerdewitz
6th Master degree
School(s) in: Fürstenfeldbruck
School Owner since: 2001
WingTsun and Escrima mean to me: Realistic self-defense to the point!
Why did you start with WingTsun?
I came to WingTsun/Escrima rather by chance. I was busy for some years with kick-/Thaiboxing, until the school was closed because of illness of the teacher. I did not find something adequate at first. So, in order not to get lazy, I kept myself busy by lifting iron in the gym. One day there was an advertising poster: “WingTsun – self-defense for the street, without rules”.
“That’s exactly mine,” I thought. I showed up there for the next training session – and saw quite a few people standing there in a funny X-legged manner, waving their hands in the air. I then informed the instructor that I was used to more reality from my previous workouts. “That’s just a form,” I was informed, “WingTsun works very well indeed.”
After being asked for a taste, I was also convinced within about five seconds. I signed the contract while still on the mat – thank goodness!!!
Why are you still doing WingTsun?
I have been with the company for some time now. So I could witness the constant development of the systems. Everything was constantly adapted, improved and advanced. I was allowed to grow with it. And even after 20 years of intensive training, I have never been bored.
In addition, I do WingTsun
full-time. And I think I have found my vocation. It makes me happy when students come to class, because it’s just fun. It is also great when people come with unpleasant to bad experiences and these, from training to training, straighten up again, become stronger and more self-confident. This is especially true for children’s training. What could be better than giving the children, who are our future, protection, security and self-confidence/awareness. There is probably no better profession!
What was your standout WT experience?
Yes, there are quite a few after 20 years. I will describe the three most striking ones:
To finance my private lessons, I was a bouncer for some time in a very large rock discotheque in Augsburg. I was the first “small” bouncer with then180 cm and 90 kg). So you can imagine that my colleagues were very tall and wide. Although I had only the 3rd student degree at that time, my baptism of fire worked wonderfully. Even if some “confused” guests at first thought that they would wait until the “big bouncer” came to kick them out. They didn’t have to wait!
I almost quit WingTsun because I was so “sh…” in my opinion in the preparation for my 5th student degree. I withdrew TanSao – always! At some point I thought I was just too stupid for this martial art. In fact, it was then another private lesson that “des Zehnerl” (the penny, today 5 cents) dropped – and it worked. For this hour I am still very, very grateful; because without this hour I would probably not be a master today.
Last but not least: my appointment to the 1st teacher degree, to Sifu and to Master.
I find it difficult to describe what changed. As a WingTsun beginner, my goal was to become 1st teacher grade (1st HG). My teacher had the 2nd HG when he sent me to the mat in seconds despite my fighting experience. When I reached this graduation, I thought, “Now you are already good.”
When I received my 5th master degree from Grandmaster Giuseppe, I was of course also proud, but differently. Not so macho, but rather in awe: Wow, one of “100” in the largest professional martial arts association in Europe.
I look forward to teaching many more students WingTsun and Escrima as the best self-defense systems.
Don’t stop when the going gets tough – not only with WT or Escrima, but also with all other influences. You will be rewarded with self-confidence, safety, fun, fitness, balance.
It is not for nothing that the EWTO is now 40 years old – EWTO rocks!
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